Kindness in the Workplace is a Critical Component to Success

Kindness in the Workplace is a Critical Component to Success

Check out the latest episode below. Mr.Biz Radio provides business owners with the knowledge and insights needed to drive their companies forward.

Mr. Biz Radio: Kindness in the Workplace is a Critical Component to Success

Unedited transcription of the show is included below:


Welcome to Mr. Biz radio, Biz. Talk for Biz owners. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward, this show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth.


All right. Welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz Radio with me, Mr. Biz Ken Wentworth. And, and we're going to talk about something that honestly doesn't get talked about enough. And I think a lot of people think of it in some regards as it's kind of this soft thing. Maybe some people think it's a little cheesy or whatever. It's not. And it's something that's super important. And we're going to talk about the impacts of some of this stuff. But some of these soft things, these intangible things for business owners can have a huge impact on your company. I talk about all the time about having, becoming the employer of choice. Right. It's so difficult right now in these economic times and with unemployment rates the way they are, is not only finding resources, but finding good resources and these little things. To become the employer of choice, you don't have to pay everyone a bazillion dollars. I mean, money is important to a lot of people, but that's not the only piece.


There's a lot of things you can do, and we've talked about it on the show over the years, a lot of things you can do that are intangible, small things that may cost you little to nothing that massively improve morale, employee satisfaction, and therefore retention makes recruiting easier. I've talked about some anecdotes about this on the show where we've implemented some of these things at my clients, and then all of a sudden they have a waiting list for people to get employer employees. And so these are super important things that we're going to talk about.


Infusing more kindness in the workplace, in relationships, and in the world overall. Our guest this week is an expert, as always. Beth Duffy is an entrepreneur and creator of a New North Pole tradition that includes an award winning storybook free app and craft. The theme in all three is spreading kindness, being happier, and helping to create a better world by December 25. Now, I know we're in January now, but we're getting an early start on 2024, right? It gives you a whole.


We got eleven months to implement some of these things. Beth graduated from Cornell University in 1982 with a BS in environmental education. Her jobs have included being a registered state lobbyist for Pennsylvania Gas Association, PPL and physical, I'm sorry, physical Philadelphia Electric Company. She also served as director of public affairs at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Beth Duffy, Welcome to Mr. Biz radio.


Thank you so much for this opportunity, Ken.


Yeah, absolutely excited to have you on. I was talking to you before the show, know, again, in seven years, we really haven't had a show really dedicated to this. And again, I see this know some people again, as I mentioned, kind of all geez. Oh, be kind. No kidding, right? But it's something that's again, one of those things, as I mentioned, just little things that make the workplace a happier place with kindness and things like that can make you the employer choice before we dive into all that. So, Beth, we're going to walk through all this. We're going to talk about her book, we're going to talk about the app, we're going to talk about all that kind of good stuff, and she's going to give us some tips, some practical tips on how we can work on some simple things that you can do to inject more kindness in the workplace into the world, et cetera. Before we get into know, I mentioned some of it in the bio introduction, Beth, but tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey, if you would.


Yes, Ken. So thank you for that wonderful intro of my business career as being a lobbyist and then in public affairs. And my kindness journey began when I became a mother at 37. And when our children are little, we realized that teachers are so busy in today's day and age with meeting all their academic requirements and milestones that now more than ever, it was our job as parents to teach and practice kindness in our home and to supplement what they were learning in school.


And we wanted to find a fun and interesting way to do that. And what we came up with started at Christmas time. But what we found was people ended up using this activity throughout the year, and maybe your viewers will as well. And basically what we started doing was about putting a construction paper tree on our kitchen cabinet, and we would add ornaments as one of us did a kind act. And the beauty of it is, no matter what our age was, 4,6,36, 38, we could all do acts of kindness and work together as a team.


And by December 25, our goal was to have our tree decorated. And through about 16 years, people would say, hey, this is great on your kitchen cabinet, but you should really share it with others. And we talked about that, my husband and myself, and then we finally decided to go for it. So I would say we were reluctant entrepreneurs, but we're really glad this is a big launch year. For us. And now we have a storybook that's entertaining about the first Christmas tree of kindness.


And we have a free companion app and the same paper activity that you can print from our website that everyone can enjoy the storybook app and craft and add kindness to a tree by doing kind acts. And it's our hope that people practice kindness at Christmas throughout the year. And then no matter what age you are and whether you're at home, school, or in a work environment, everyone can enjoy this same activity.


Yeah, I love it. I got to ask, on the entrepreneurial side, was there a point in your career where you're like, hey, I need to do this full time. I'm going to stop doing that? Are you kind of still doing some of that stuff on the side, or is this on the side? Or was there a moment there that you're like, I need to devote more time to this.


May I say that as our kids became older, I was a stay at home mom. So I was interested in being an entrepreneur. And as the kids got older, I found that I could devote more and more time to it. And now really, it's a full time job.


Well, that's awesome. That's awesome. So I got to ask, did it start with the book? I mean, obviously with the tree, right? And you're putting the ornaments on and you kind of grow. So was that the evolution? You started with the book and then you came up with the storybook and then with the app, or what order did you go through and where were the sort of jumping off points, I guess, to each of those.


So that's an excellent question. And what we started off with, actually, was the app. And now the app is free because we want people to give it a try. The app and the craft are free. So we started with the app, with the free craft in the app and what we found, we looked at the successful business model of Elf on the shelf, and they have an interesting activity, but they also have a story that goes with it.


And we found that some people enjoyed our activity from a religious perspective in celebration of December 25, but other people wanted a more entertaining version. And the storybook offers a more entertaining version of why we should practice kindness and the positive impact on the giver as well as the receiver of the kindness.


I like it. Well, it's interesting, honestly, again, we'll get into more of the kindness to you. I'm just kind of focused. My brain is focused on the entrepreneurial side. But it's interesting to me. You started with the know, typically people work themselves into something like that. So it's interesting you started with that. It sounds like if initially maybe you were charging or you had some advertising or something like that, you mentioned now that it's free, and we'll put the access to all that stuff in the show notes as well as we continue to talk with Beth Duffy.


Guys, you can follow her. First of all, you can go to her website. And again, we'll put this in the show notes, but just in case you're watching or listening in a car or something like that You can also follow her them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. And we're going to come back after the break, and we're going to talk a little bit more. We're going to give Mr. Biz the tip of the week. First of all, we're going to talk a little bit more about how kindness is beneficial for business owners.


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All right, welcome back, show. It's time for the Mr. Biz tip of the week. And this week's tip is actually a quote. I've mentioned this guy a few times on the show over the years. For our loyal viewers and listeners, he's a little bit controversial. His name's Dan Pena. He's got a little bit of a potty mouth. I'll be honest with you. He's not everyone's cup of tea. However, he's got some good gems if you can weave around all that four letter word stuff.


But this quote has no four letters in it, four letter words in it. Well, does, but not those types. And his quote is, show me your friends and I'll show you your future. And it goes along. Know the Jim Rohn I think I've heard know talk about the five people you spend the most time with and how critically important that is. And it's not only important for your success, but I think what Dan Pena, as a matter of fact, I know because I saw the full video of when he talked about this.


He talked about it not only from the success side, but really the negative side. Because if your friends, if you're hanging out with, I'll clean up the way he put it a little bit. You're hanging out with a bunch of losers that are doing bad stuff. You're probably going to do that. You might not be as bad as them, but you start to rationalize that behavior. Yes, I drink often, but my friend drinks ten beers a day and I only drink six, so I'm not as bad as him. Well, jeez, you shouldn't be drinking six beers a day either, probably right.


And so that's a really important concept to really realize. And it's at all aspects of life, it's not just business, but really your kids, as your kids are growing up and they start hanging out with people and kind of keeping an eye on that. Just super important keeping an eye on that. But you want to be successful, make sure you're getting around people that are successful as well and are going to be ambitious and drive you to be successful as well, and not hanging around with, as Dan Pena says, a bunch of losers.


That's Mr. Biz tip of the week this week. So, Beth, let's get back into this a little guess. I was kind of in a hurry to wrap up the segment, and I said we're going to talk about how kindness is beneficial for business owners. Well, da, right. Another one of those super obvious things. But what are some of those things I'm trying to get to, like I mentioned at the outset, is the little aspects that can be to help make you an employer of choice and how improve some of that stuff. Have you had experience with that, with business owners, entrepreneurs, et cetera?


So the one thing that amazes me is, as you speak, about kindness in business. When I took a closer look into that, it really is a trendsetting topic. And there was one book in particular I wanted to mention that perhaps your viewers could enjoy if they don't already know about it. It's called give and take by Adam Grant, the University of Pennsylvania Wharton professor. And the whole book is about how kindness benefits the business and the client relationship.


And if you take a deeper know, give it a Google search, you'll see that the Harvard Business Review, Forbes articles on LinkedIn, everybody's starting to talk about kindness in business. So it really is a hot topic. And when you say, well, it's a no brainer, but really it is true, just for the same reasons. Kindness helps us in our personal relationships. It helps us in those personal relationships in business.


And as far as the business owner perspective, particularly what I've learned and what you've already pointed out is that people want to work with you. You can build good partnerships with clients through your kindness. And then in terms of employee satisfaction, if people like their jobs, as you already mentioned, they're more likely to stay in their jobs. And another thing that I think is particularly interesting that is mentioned in these different resources, when employees are more comfortable in their environment, they're more likely to feel comfortable putting forth innovative ideas and not be afraid that they're going to be shot down or ostracized.


And so overall, the teamwork, the cycle of teamwork between the employee, the business owner and the client, the kindness helps fuel that big circle of progress. So it is time that we all take a closer look at as you pointed out, it's not really easy, it's not a soft skill. Kindness is sometimes hard and you have to pay attention to it and you have to value it in order to make it happen.


It's interesting you brought that up, Beth. So I'm a business consultant, fractional CFO and everything, but I do a lot of different things and I try to help business owners optimize their business. I was working with a client a couple of years ago, and I noticed that he seemed to be a bit on the negative side with a lot of things, right? And so I'm getting towards the kindness here. And I told him, I said, I think what's happening is because of you being a little bit, maybe on the negative side is people aren't opening up to you. People are afraid to maybe present innovative ideas because you're just going to shoot them down or whatever.


And I said, you got to start, when people give you feedback, you really have to encourage the feedback and then you can't just shoot them down when they give it. So funny enough, I said, so you got to start with, anytime someone brings something up to you. You have to start with, that's an interesting idea or that's a great idea or something positive, and then talk about the idea and how maybe you can implement it or whatever.


And the very first meeting I'm in with him after I kind of coached him into this, right? Someone brings up an idea and he said, hey, Joe, that's a great idea, but blah, blah. And I was like, so after the meeting, I said, okay, it's a good start. Okay, this is better than it was. I said, but the but just negated all the positive things you had said. So you have to say, that's a really good idea and let's talk about how we can implement it.


It was interesting to hear that and just those little things. Anyway, long story, somewhat shorter is over several months of him kind of taking these baby steps. He started to feel better about it. He felt more positive in the workplace. People were bringing him more ideas because he had been sort of this gruff, rough around the edges kind of guy. And here's the other thing that I tell people all the time.


There's a lot of things that they tell you, especially if you do public speaking or you do appearances and all that kind of stuff. Hey, if you have a publicist or pr, don't bring up this, don't mention that. Don't talk about politics, don't talk about religion. When is it ever going to be construed negatively if you say something kind to someone? Right. When is that ever going to backfire you ever.


Now, I could answer that. It could. And if it does, you probably don't want that person around you anyway because if that person, you say something kind or something nice to someone and then they go, oh, look at this person. Oh, my gosh, you probably don't want that person around anyway because they're probably super negative if they're receiving it in that way. And so again, it's something that you can practice.


It never goes out of style. It's never going to get you in a bad place. It's always going to lead to something positive. I think. It's just so, so important. And as you mentioned, with employee satisfaction, employee retention, those things, especially, as I mentioned at the outset, super important right now in not only finding good resources because your employees begin to recruit for you, but being able to hold on to those people and everything.


I know it looks like you have something to say and we've got just a little bit of time here and we can pick that up in the next segment if you want, as well.


No, I just wanted to add, I agree with you 100%. And the other thing from the person in an interview interviewing for a job, one thing that I shared with the kids, when it's all said and done, there are a lot of people that are qualified for a job. And as you mentioned, who do you want to work with and who do you want to be with, report to and rely on every day. It could be a game changer.


100%. That's a perfect way to wrap up this segment again., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. Come back after the break and we're going to get some practical tips on how to infuse more kindness into the world.


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Check out all three of Mr. Business best-selling books at Now, once again, here's Mr. Biz.


All right, welcome back to the show. I wanted to mention something real quick here. I know we're at the beginning of the year, and some of you guys that have a budget, please tell me you have a budget if you're a business owner. Health care costs have been rising, increasing for it seems like ten years, twelve years. Now, there's a potential opportunity out there for you to check out. You can go out. This company actually purchased this domain. I don't own it.

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That's something that's the concern for you. With healthcare costs always seemingly increasing as a business owner, being able to provide that for your employees as well as maybe save some money, give them some better coverage, et cetera. So. all right, Beth, what are some things, so obviously we're all on the same page, right? Kindness. We want more kindness. What are some practical things that we can do know, maybe just something simple that you kind of don't even think about. That's like right underneath your nose. What are some things that we can do in everyday life to sort of infuse more kindness into the world?


That's a great question, and I've thought about that, and I'm asked that one more often than you think. So I've come up with three ideas, and perhaps you can improve upon them. And if not, that's okay, too. The first one is to be kind to yourself, because what we've learned is you can't give what you don't have. And everybody has to figure out what that means to be kind to yourself, whether that means making time for exercise, making time with a friend, making time to have a coffee, to read, whatever it is to recharge your personal batteries.


So first, be kind to yourself. The second one is to balance all the negative things that we see in the world on the news. It's not to ignore what's going on, but to balance some of the negative things with positive things. Dr. Freiburg is a medical doctor who founded Envision Kindness, and I love what he says. He says that it's not you are what you eat. He says we are what we see. So on a daily basis, we're seeing negative things, but we have to make sure that we're giving ourselves a chance to see positive things too.


And then finally, I think you have to commit yourself to make kindness a practice. And research has shown that you just can't do one kind act a week and expect to reap any of the benefits on a daily basis. Try to incorporate kind acts into your daily routine. And here's a sales pitch. But how can you do that? Well, we have the free app Christmas tree of kindness, and it offers you kind act suggestions every day.


Or you can enter your own kind act, or it can just get you thinking in the way of when you wake up in the morning. What can I do kind today. So just focusing on kindness as well as positive things as well as what can you do to charge your batteries are always to move in the right direction.


Yeah, I love those. Going back to your first one, being kind to yourself, so important. And I think a lot of times people skip over those, skip over that part. Right. I got to be kind to other people well, I agree with you. You have to be kind to yourself. One of the really cool things that I love Jesse Itzler, I follow him, and one of the things he talks about is he takes his, he calls them in the quotes, daily vitamins.


Not necessarily vitamins, but he said he makes a list of maybe ten or twelve different things that make him happy. And he said some of them are just silly things. He goes, I hate having an unmade bed. So one thing that makes me happy is making my bed every day something silly, but it makes me happy. And so what he says is, I can't do all ten or twelve of these things every day, but I want to try to do at least three.


And those are ways that he takes care of himself and he's kind to himself because every day he does at least three of these things that make him happy. He's a runner. He likes to run. He can't go for a run every day. So he'll look at his day and he'll say, what three? Can I fit in? Right? What do I have time for today? Because some of them might take 30 seconds, some of them might take 30 minutes, right?


And so I think that's an important one. And something I've begun to do myself is I have a list of twelve. I have twelve of my quote unquote daily vitamins, per his definition. And I literally look at it in the morning now and I go, how can I get at least three in? And you know what? It's just like you talked about, Beth, if you're mindful of it, inevitably, I do end up doing six or seven a day, which makes me happier. Right? And then it helps me push that happiness, that kindness, that gratefulness back out into the world. I think that's super important.


The balancing the world. I think, man, with social media, especially the news in general and social media, gosh, it just seems like it can be just endless. I mean, my wife and I, we don't typically watch the news. We'll catch headlines. If I want to delve into a story deeper, I do. And then you got to be careful about the news source and all that stuff. But even without going down that rabbit hole, it just seems like there's so much that's reported on that. If you think about it, the 06:00 news or 11:00 news, this is local stations, it seems like even from a kid, they tell you all the news, and most of it's not necessarily the most rosy picture of things. And then at the very end, there'll be a two minute story about someone who helped an old lady across the street. Or it's like 26 minutes of people getting murdered or bad things happening to people and car crashes and bad weather.


And then, by the way, here's just this little sliver of this is the one good thing. So I think that is super important because as you had mentioned, that quote, it's not what you eat, it's what you see. If all your senses are being inundated with negativity and negative thoughts and all that stuff. I mean, it's difficult to climb above that, to try to be happy, grateful, kind to other people. So I think that's another one that's super important for people to realize.


Yes. Now more than ever. Sometimes when you turn on the news, it's like, oh, brother. It's not like rolling a boulder up a hill. It's really rolling it up a mountain. But you know what? We do have to stay hopeful. And there are a lot of us out there. And I just think it gets skewed sometimes because there are good things happening and in the news and in social media, it goes for shock and awe. Right.


And kindness maybe doesn't always feel that attention getting, but there are a lot of people that feel the same way and they're looking for goodness. And instead of waiting for it to happen, just going out and making it happen yourself is very empowering.


Yeah, I love that. On the third one you had mentioned is kind of, I'm paraphrasing, but kind of incorporating this into your daily routine. I mean, here's the other thing I would say to that, which I agree with 100%, is think about how it makes you feel when you're kind to someone. Even going back to the very first one, being kind to yourself, doing those, like I mentioned, the Jesse Otzer thing, ten or twelve things, doing three of those things that enjoy it. You enjoy, make you happy, it makes you feel good.




How does it make you feel when you're nice to someone? Really simple example, holding the door open for someone, especially, I'm based in Columbus, Ohio, it's starting to get cold out. People are outside, it's cold. And you hold the door open for them and they walk up and they say thank you. And you see the look on their face, you see the appreciation that makes you feel good. Right. I mean, again, it goes back to that.


It's a very positive thing. Doing more little simple things like that I think make a huge difference.


Yes. And that's another avenue to investigate your viewers perhaps. And you, and that's the science of kindness, which is a whole new study, which is some doctors use it as part of a prescription for treatment for know. Not entirely, but it just does have such positive psychological and health.


Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Beth, we're out of time, unfortunately. But love the show. Love what you had to share. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate it.


Thank you so much. Ken, thank you for your kindness.


Thank you as well. Guys, thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. Have a great, fantastic remainder of your week. Again, thanks for watching and listening. And don't forget, as always, cash flow is king.


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